Both are trainees ("Auszubildende") under the German apprenticeship system, and thus covered by special rules and regulations. I am not the instructor, just someone she trusts. We work at the same company, and in the past I have been a temporary mentor
Today one of our trainees (software developer) came to me in tears, lets call her Alice. She read in a chatroom meant for the apprenticeship (where she Alice, the other trainee and the instructors are present) that the costs for books are being covered for the new trainee. Alice had to buy all books and materials by herself.
Alice believes this is due to the fact that the new trainee always complains that she is broke. Alice gets the same amount of money from the company as the new trainee, just lives in a cheaper apartment. While crying Alice told me how she skipped lunch for weeks to make ends meet and pay for everything. And she feels treated unfairly.
I can understand how she feels, I have student debt myself. But I am not sure what to tell her.
I was thinking about 3 options:
- Say nothing, it is in the past
- If she needs materials again, treat what has happened as a precedent and ask for similar compensation
- Complain to the instructor, hoping to get some money back.
What kind of advice can I give Alice? I am afraid she might burn a bridge with her instructor in her last year of the apprenticeship. How (and if at all) should she raise the issue with her instructor?
(Additional Information after the first answer: Alice did ask for the books to be paid in the past, the answer was "No". "No, unless the books are usefull for all developers here and you keep them at work")